Meanwhile, in other good news “Gab” is melting down

Soon I’ll have nothing to write about…

The alternative far-right version of Twitter known as “Gab” is in a bad way according to The Daily Beast: https://www.thedailybeast.com/gab-is-in-full-meltdown-and-founder-andrew-torba-blames-the-deep-state

“Months after a Gab user allegedly massacred Jewish worshippers at a synagogue, the extremist-friendly social-media site is in the middle of a full-scale meltdown, freezing its signups on Wednesday. Gab advertises itself as a “free speech” alternative to Twitter or Facebook, but it’s more like a haven for violent extremists, including Robert Bowers, the white supremacist who posted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to Gab before allegedly murdering 11 Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue in October. Another pair of Gab users were accused the next month of plotting an attack of their own. The site suffered a financial blow after the incidents, with payment processors and web-hosting companies cutting ties with them.”

The social media platform that was so toxic that Vox Day got harassed off it, had some of its shady funding practices exposed by a Southern Poverty Law Center report: https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2019/01/24/how-gab-has-raised-millions-thanks-crowdfunding-company

Without access to private investors, Gab’s financial outlook is uncertain. Gab has lost more than $350,000 since it began operations in August 2016 through June 30, 2018. Gab can seek a third $1 million crowdfunding round in September, and given the speed at which the previous crowdfunding rounds were fully funded, the company may continue to survive on yearly injections of capital from a relatively small number of investors.

The catch line to the Woodward & Bernstein Watergate investigations was “follow the money” and I think we are seeing more of the shadowy funding of the alt-right being revealed.

21 thoughts on “Meanwhile, in other good news “Gab” is melting down

  1. They just uncovered that Peter Thiel has been funding a science journal that contains some legitimate peer reviewed science articles but also throws in pseudo-science supporting creationism and climate change denial, which Thiel evidently specifically wants, though as far as I know he’s a libertarian atheist: https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/01/a-science-journal-funded-by-peter-thiel-is-running-articles-dismissing-climate-change-and-evolution/

    I would not be surprised if Thiel or some of his associates have been funding Gab as part of his dreams of setting up a little conservative media empire or just side propaganda. The key goal in these things seems to be general disruption and stoking violence, hoping to force societal and economic collapse which offers ripe opportunities for exploitation and increased authoritarian control by the wealthy.

    What is always fascinating about these things is the continual claim that conservative and far right political stances are not political. Instead, they want to promote them as the normal standard of society and thus supposedly neutral, meaning that their adherents should have/maintain control of all operations and institutions. In some cases they may actually believe this (I think many of the Puppies did,) and in others, it is simply a rhetorical argument to normalize inequality and general authoritarianism by declaring it the normal apolitical standard which more liberal people are disrupting.

    Consequently, it doesn’t matter if Gab does well or offers a chat group for violent killers. Its simple existence, which can be declared normal and neutral, is sufficient. Which is why Breibart still exists and is funded despite its disastrous situation. So I wouldn’t expect Gab to melt down completely all that soon.

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      1. The status quo is in social and economic collapse and likely to continue getting worse. The wealthy do and do not like stability and security. It can be profitable, but most of them are set on scavenger capitalism, what is sometimes called endgame or last stage capitalism which is centered on individual enrichment of high traders and executives. Social and economic collapse keeps workers controlled, desperate and usually sets the dominant groups attacking the marginalized ones as competition, and thus makes labor cheaper, which runs up stock prices and makes for good buy backs. And social and economic collapse is great for establishing more authoritarianism with greater control and seizure of resources for wealthy elites. A lot of the right-wing groups globally are centered on destabilizing the U.S. to be able to get even more tax cuts (and for the theocrats, more theocracy,) and destabilizing and constricting (austerity) the EU to break it up or weaken it so that there are more scavenger opportunities in the various countries.

        And those tactics got Trump elected, which means they got cheaper labor, deregulation and the destruction of regulating U.S. government agencies, the giant tax cut which has stagnated the U.S. economy, and a business friendly and theocratic Supreme Court. Meanwhile Ford is moving its operations to Mexico, Foxconn won’t have factories in the U.S., etc. They deliberately seek out destabilized countries for cheaper and serf labor and they want to get the U.S. labor force as close to a Great Depression level of desperation as they can manage while making sure the unions are busted and legislated out of existence. They are dead set against American workers having decent healthcare, livable wages, paid leave, profit-sharing benefits or pensions, safe working conditions, etc., even though it would improve productivity, the overall economy and the market for goods and services. But they are focused on short term, personal financial gain for a handful of people — scavenging the goodies, leaving behind the dumpster fires. Thiel has made his fortunes on that.

        So Gab is useful as another propaganda source to manipulate wider social media campaigns and above all, keep American workers not only used to being treated as serfs but have a lot of them actively defend being serfs as the American ideal of work, as well as supporting bigoted hierarchies as a natural social order. That it also encourages a few extremists to go around killing mostly non-SWM people, leaving folks afraid and wanting more authoritarian control for law and order, isn’t really a downside. So I’m just saying, I suspect Gab will not be disappearing that soon. Though if they do decide to tank it, they still have Reddit to play with.

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      2. And stability can be a mirage also. The shifting choices of the German upper classes in the Weimar Republic led them to oppose then embrace Hitler in a quest for stability and order that led to national destruction. Even if people want stability it doesn’t mean they know how to get it.

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  2. What’s interesting about gab for me is that while many Conservatives claim to want free speech, when given a platform of their own to spout their ideas, they invariably refuse to use it except for a few extreme people.
    I remember reading one Conservative arguing that Twitter should allow hate speech, because hateful comments would be diluted by all the other users, while on Gab Those kind of comments are amplified.

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      1. It’s like Gresham’s law, basically ‘Bad money drives out good’, observance of which apparently dates back to ancient Athens.

        Anybody who’s been on the internet for a while knows that moderation is required for any social space that you don’t want to become a cesspit. It doesn’t have to be particularly heavy either, because once the regulars feel that the moderator will have their back, they’re less likely to just be quiet and let the screamers have their way. If there’s no moderation and people are willing to scream whatever they like, the thoughtful ones tend to just back away, because they can’t keep up with somebody who has absolutely no processing time between whim and posting.

        Most places I’ve seen with decent communities share the same basic principles:
        – First post from a given user goes into auto-moderation. (This is somewhat optional, but more necessary the more known a site is.) This means that egregiously horrible stuff never gets seen by anybody but the moderator at all, but can allow through contrarians who at least know how to play nice to start with.
        – Relatively light moderation touch, light enough that people won’t feel they’ll get banned for anything said, but still present enough that blatant bad-faith types get weeded out. The ‘light’ touch also gives the regulars occasional chew-toys to play with.
        – Firm block list once the threshold has been reached.
        Some places like Pharyngula used to actually list who had been banned and why; that stopped several years ago when it became obvious that people were using being banned as some sort of badge of approval.

        Granted, there are people who go out of their way to actively play moderation systems. There was a recurring incident over at Respectful Insolence some time back which I probably shouldn’t go into public detail on for fear of giving people ideas.

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      2. The site I’m a moderator of lets anyone press an abuse button for a comment which immediately hides it. Then it isn’t displayed again until a moderator presses accept. That has taken care of an enormous amount of problem, not the least regulars that get angry at each other during Friday night when moderators are asleep. All insults or bad attitudes are stopped at once. And if the bad comment was at the start of a new thread, the whole thread is hidden.

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    1. many Conservatives claim to want free speech
      They may claim that, but in practise what they really want is complete freedom to say anything they want without fear of having to deal with the consequences of having said it. I’ve never seen such censorship-happy people.

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    2. There’s a great piece by Scott Alexander where he gives a great description how projects like this invariably wind up as cesspools.

      Basically, he says, if you announce “We’re like (POPULAR SERVICE X), but without awful policing of (BEHAVIOR Y),” then there are really only two groups your new platform is going to appeal to. A small number of people who really REALLY hate policing so much that they’ll leave the popular service for it. And the people who want to engage in Behavior Y unobstructed. There’ll be a whole *bunch* of those.

      Which all means: even if you have the best of intentions, and honestly sincerely believe the policing on Service X is too darn much, then setting up a competing service with THAT as your pitch is a recipe for disaster.

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  3. Meanwhile Vice, Buzzfeed and others have laid off large chunks of their workforce as their corporate bosses raid the companies for cash for themselves. More scavenging and it makes it extra easy for propaganda media like Gab to spread whatever sort of information they want. Or the Russian allies want, I guess.

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  4. Yeah…because we know Twatter and Fakebook and other similar places are full of peace-loving, wonderful liberals. You people fail to realize the reason a site like Gab even exists at all. In 5 minutes I could go on Twitter and find numerous examples of liberals calling for the death of someone or the harassment of someone and it’s completely allowed and accepted. But if a conservative were to make the same type of comment s/he would be banned almost immediately. On Gab if you don’t like what someone says just block them. Apparently that’s too hard for you people.

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    1. “too hard for you people”…and too hard for Vox Day also, who not only left the site because of continual harassment by others on the right but threatened legal action against it.

      When a site is too toxic for even Vox Day to swim in, its pretty much devolved into pointlessness.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Ooo, another comment addressed to “you people”! Bill should send CUL a Friend Request, it looks as though they’d get along splendidly with each other. 😀

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    3. “But if a conservative were to make the same type of comment s/he would be banned almost immediately.”

      — ROFL, oh my sides hurt now

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  5. Looks like Vox Day is concern trolling about your alleged stalking of him. He is the master of projection, among other things.

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